Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

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Y.Morgan
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Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Y.Morgan » January 24th, 2012, 10:28 pm

After a lifetime of persistent wanderlust, it seemed that yearning for elsewhere was a permanent state of being - until I moved to the Southwestern U.S. Now, my friends say, “We should go to X and look for Y,” and I’m like, “Mmmm...I dunno - It’s pretty nice right here.”

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Actually, all of these photos are from 2010 when I focused almost exclusively on banded rock rattlers and could barely be bothered to photograph anything else. The title of this post could just as easily be “Not Klaubs”, since that’s what every non-klaub find was to me that year. That kind of focus is good in a quantitative sort of way....I did find more than 100 klaubs as some of you may recall from this klauby, scenic, bloody post: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5580&hilit=klaub

But that kind of focus also caused me to forget to enjoy the ride. I did, at least, manage some non-klaub shots in my single-minded search.

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Lots of this the past 2 years:
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If you haven’t taken a kid herping, what are you waiting for? Raw joy is contagious:
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Maybe I have Native American roots after all. How I see me:

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How she sees me:

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While tapping rocks in SW NM, I found a geocache and perused its register. This entry (below) still haunts me. I’ve been back 3 times just to re-read it. Is it possible that someone saw one of our super-rare jaguars and actually mistook it for a leopard? The site is extremely south and remote:
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I was sooo pissed off to find this stupid pyro in talus while my bros and buds were finding banded rocks. No kidding - I was livid.
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This blacktail’s montane home is visible from my living room window:
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Given all the dry spells this region has had of late, it seems right to offer a drink to a thirsty, road-crossing Gila monster. If you disagree, so?

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One certainty though is that prudence is required when handling los monstruos. This is the 2nd time in the past 3 years that a friend was nailed by a seemingly benign Gila in a frantic and somewhat careless effort to remove it from the road before an oncoming vehicle could squash it:
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Believe it or not, this was a quick, glancing blow from a fairly small animal. Same Gila after being moved off road:
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Atrox aren’t the only reddish crotes in the Bootheel:
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Blacktail found near home:
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Okay, who am I fooling? A whole post with no klaubs just feels wrong. Here are repeats of a few of my faves from 2010:

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White Sands:
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Gravid female speck basking on a rock after midnight. She was still there when we left:
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2 Mexicos - Old and New:
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Do you think anyone’d notice if we hopped the fence and checked that talus real fast?
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Driving around these guys causes way less stress than straddling them:
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A lot of bakers don’t know this, but if you squeeze a coachwhip just right, they’re perfect for cake decorating:
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Who would guess that 15 minutes after finding a bunch of wills and klaubs:
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the weather would do this:
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Check out this rattle:
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After too many days of getting skunked on finding klaubs, my mood soured to the point that I gave the middle finger to a rainbow and screamed obscenities at it. But not this one:
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lep lep from New Mexico:
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Back east, it’s the abundance of life that amazes. Out west, it’s the tenacity:
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Cheap entertainment when the herping is bad:
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While hiking a slope one day, I spotted a rock squirrel looking distressed and watching me intently. I decided to have a closer look. Upon seeing this blood, I naturally assumed it was mine:
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But a closer look revealed otherwise:
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The closer look also revealed the source of the squirrel’s distress....its mate went missing very recently. Interestingly, this atrox was found higher on the slope than 1 molossus and 2 klaubs found earlier the same day:
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Cattle grazing in a giant lava crater:
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I found this pyro (below) on the clock, which was minimal consolation for my unhealthy klaub focus. One night after getting skunked AGAIN looking for klaubs, I roadcruised a pyro in a new locality for me. I stopped the truck, grabbed the snake and slung it to the tall grass like it was 1 of a 100 baby gopher snakes. No photos. Not even a close look. Wrong.
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It’s best not to fall asleep on herping trips, but kids get a bit of a break:

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A friend and I drove upon this disturbing scene - a male hognose trying to copulate with a fresh DOR female. Seriously...this really happened.
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While my friend sternly lectured the horny hognose on the demerits of necrophilia, I remained mum, knowing I’d do the same thing if I found Halle Berry DOR:
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Male w/o Halle:
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Same molossus as above. The tilted head betrays unusually bad intentions for a molossus:
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While herping a steep slope with a bud, his dog dislodged a big rock that rolled directly onto my friend’s foot. The pics don’t do it justice...it was ugly and we were a couple of rugged miles away from the truck:
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There I fixed it!
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This border Gila was so ginormous, it looked like a beaded lizard crossing the road:

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At first glance, it seemed the encounter had aroused identical sentiment in the Gila and me...

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but then it was evident he was merely well-tailed and headed off-road.

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On Guard!
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Chicken:
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Truth is, it requires inordinate time to put a post like this together. Of course, it feels good sharing these images with y’all - my peers. But the main reason I go to so much trouble is because it’s so gratifying for me to see a year of experiences framed in a single colorful presentation. I have zero pets and I’ve never traded or sold a wild-caught animal. All I have for my field efforts are photos and memories. Posts like this allow me to relive some of the best times of my life and they also serve as a validation of the tough choices that led me here. To all who make similar efforts with your amazing posts - THANKS!

For those of you who think posts like this are the bane of wild herps, I respect your opinion but simply disagree. If pillagers think they can come to the remote places my buds and I herp and score big in a weekend or 2 - bring it on! For you detracting hypocrites who never contribute while dissing this forum and posts like this - yet are reading this right now, here’s a special message just for you:
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It’d be a shame to end on a negative note. Yowza:
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Later,
York

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mikemike
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by mikemike » January 24th, 2012, 11:24 pm

Excellent post man. That first Atrox is pretty rad, but I'm a sucker for the klaubs...

rsmith
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by rsmith » January 24th, 2012, 11:56 pm

Wow, That was a great post! Thats why I love the west.

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Rags
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Rags » January 25th, 2012, 12:11 am

Great post.

I really enjoy this type of presentation. With a mixture of species, including birds and mammals etc., habitat shots and the odd anecdote thrown in. You have done a good job - thanks for taking the time to post this.

It would be difficult to pick out a favourite photo here but the image of the two youngsters taking shade in the desert sand dunes is one that really sticks with me. The first rattler after the fence shots is also a fantastic shot, in fact so many fantastic shots, thanks again.

Rags.

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Norman D
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Norman D » January 25th, 2012, 12:22 am

Great post York! Love the variety..some of those atrox are screamers. I love the willardi & pyrrhus shots!

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » January 25th, 2012, 1:09 am

This is one of the few posts that ooze tons of atmosphere, really transport you there, and truly convey the "raw joy" you had. Very entertaining narrative, lost of pleasantly unexpected content, all presented in a smart and passionate way.

Thank you very much!
Now, my friends say, “We should go to X and look for Y,” and I’m like, “Mmmm...I dunno - It’s pretty nice right here.”
I know the feeling well....since I arrived in Kuching last July, people bug me left an right to see this or that important and fascinating national park hundreds of miles and dozens of boat hours from here....but as long as I can find tarsiers in the local park, I can't quite see the necessity :-)

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck » January 25th, 2012, 1:31 am

Fantastic & funny!

WW**
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by WW** » January 25th, 2012, 1:45 am

Y.Morgan wrote:After a lifetime of persistent wanderlust, it seemed that yearning for elsewhere was a permanent state of being - until I moved to the Southwestern U.S. Now, my friends say, “We should go to X and look for Y,” and I’m like, “Mmmm...I dunno - It’s pretty nice right here.”

Since my first visit to se. AZ 2.5 yrs ago, I know exactly what you mean.

An amazing post, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

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Martti Niskanen
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Martti Niskanen » January 25th, 2012, 3:51 am

Wow! What a stunning post.

Aaron Mills
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Aaron Mills » January 25th, 2012, 4:27 am

Great post York! Alot of cool animals in there! Great photography as well!

What is this? Molossus x atrox? Maybe molossus x viridis? Weird looking animal for sure!

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azatrox
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by azatrox » January 25th, 2012, 4:55 am

Amazing post York...one of the best I've seen this year....Love the variety!

The animal that Aaron reposted definitely looks like it has molossus influence...

-Kris

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Dr. Dark
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Dr. Dark » January 25th, 2012, 4:58 am

EPIC, simply EPIC!

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by ugh » January 25th, 2012, 4:58 am

Hardcore....damn(head shaking/very jealous) :beer:

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rosy-man
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by rosy-man » January 25th, 2012, 5:07 am

That ground snake was my fave followed closely too the giant Gila how many inches.

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Mulebrother
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Mulebrother » January 25th, 2012, 6:50 am

I was about to make a smarmy comment about "all this does is make all these OUT OF STATERS come to rape and pillage the southwest, MAN! :x " -but you beat me to it, DANGIT!!!

Cant say enough about this post though...awesome in every catagory. Although all the rattlers make my heart race...one of the most stunning animals on here is that sonora- crazy looking, but awesome.
Now...back to dreaming about heading west some day- thanks a lot...

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Will Wells
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Will Wells » January 25th, 2012, 7:07 am

York,
That was amazing, one of the best I've seen. There were alot of nice looking animals and the photography was great. I've been bit by gila monsters twice, once trying to get it off the road while a car was coming. It was worth the bite to not watch it get smashed. Keep up the great work and hopefully we'll cross paths in the field someday.

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gbin
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by gbin » January 25th, 2012, 7:26 am

Way more than something for everyone, and a beautiful presentation, besides! :thumb:

York, what's the story behind the young coati in hand?

Gerry

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » January 25th, 2012, 7:37 am

:thumb: :thumb: :thumb: Given all the dry spells this region has had of late, it seems right to offer a drink to a thirsty, road-crossing Gila monster. If you disagree, so? :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:


This was a great post!! WOW!!! It ignited my fire :beer: thank you sir' for sharing.

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~Mel~

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Cole Grover
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Cole Grover » January 25th, 2012, 7:41 am

Un-fuggin'-real, York! Year after year, you manage to post these season summary reports that leave us simply in awe. The landscape shots are phenomenal, your narrative is top-notch and not over-done, and the animals you showed are glorious! Being a Lampro-dork, those Pyros are really something, man.
While hiking a slope one day, I spotted a rock squirrel looking distressed and watching me intently. I decided to have a closer look. Upon seeing this blood, I naturally assumed it was mine
Having seen so many of your previous posts, I assumed the same thing! It looks like your buddy took the bashing this year, though. Ouch... same dude get Helodermatized AND bashed by the rolling rock? Hey, it doesn't even look like you got klaubbed this year! Any lasting effects from previous experiences?

Thanks for posting.
-Cole

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M.J.FRANETOVICH
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » January 25th, 2012, 7:56 am

Mr. Y.Morgan

Sir' could you pm" me so that I can respond? I wanted to ask you something about your camera behind the scenes and there is no option for pm'ing you 8-) thank you in advance :beer:

~Mel~

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monklet
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by monklet » January 25th, 2012, 9:13 am

Damn post made me late for work. :evil:

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Brendan
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Brendan » January 25th, 2012, 9:41 am

One of the best threads I've seen in a long time!! Looks like you were in my backyard at least once and not far away a few times.

That hybrid molossusXatrox is pretty bitchin!! I know it's been recorded a handful of times but it's cool to see it in nature.

Not much of a pyro guy but that talus pyro is stunning. I think I'd even have to take a photo of that snake if I saw it. I'm like you in that I forget there are other cool herps which don't have rattles attached.

Nice job!!

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by ADCIII » January 25th, 2012, 10:17 am

WOW!!! Last years klaub post was my favorite. It is now my second. Art

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Nir
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Nir » January 25th, 2012, 12:10 pm

Incredible post!!!

This puts all the reason out on one post why I dream of herping this part of the world.

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pete
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by pete » January 25th, 2012, 12:37 pm

OUT F#CKING STANDING!!!!!

Beautiful camera work sir!! Makes me want to get on a plane tonight!

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Kent VanSooy
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Kent VanSooy » January 25th, 2012, 12:44 pm

All sorts of wonderful! That atrox is the prettiest I've ever seen (but my worm snake is bigger!).

THANK YOU !!!!!

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Tonia Graves
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Tonia Graves » January 25th, 2012, 1:12 pm

Wow, looks like you had an awesome year! Thanks for putting this together & for also sharing the landscape shots!

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Rothdigga
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Rothdigga » January 25th, 2012, 2:30 pm

Fantastic post. Great narrative too, hard go get a good Necrophelia joke in there but you managed that too!
Please do tell about you holding the baby Coati? I'm puzzled. I like you do not have any pets and choose to only shoot photos in the wild and enjoy things as I find them. Good stuff.

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Dell Despain
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Dell Despain » January 25th, 2012, 4:02 pm

I don't carry a torch for buzztails like some of you goofballs, but this green lepidus blew me away, nice job.
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York wrote:
For those of you who think posts like this are the bane of wild herps, I respect your opinion but simply disagree. If pillagers think they can come to the remote places my buds and I herp and score big in a weekend or 2 - bring it on! For you detracting hypocrites who never contribute while dissing this forum and posts like this - yet are reading this right now, here’s a special message just for you:
Post like these ARE time consuming to do, and while they may be self serving to a degree, that's never stopped me from doing my posts, and I'm glad it didn't stop you either. I've spoken w/ two forum members through PM's that told me they won't do post anymore because of detracting hypocrites comments.
Your above quote got a good chuckle out of me, and I'm also glad you said it too. :thumb: How long did it take to pose the Hyla flipping finger?
Thanks for taking the time to post this up.

Oh, and the Long-eared owl shot I really liked too.

-Dell

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Rob Nimmo » January 25th, 2012, 4:38 pm

OUTSTANDING!!!! I definitely miss the trips out west. Work may have to take a back seat this year :thumb:

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by ratsnakehaven » January 25th, 2012, 4:54 pm

Perfect: presentation, no possible gripes; variety, although I'm mostly into colubrids, outstanding; extras, like children learning about herps, etc, other animals; landscapes, mouth-watering; and narration, you could edit for me anytime.

Thanks, hope to see 1/10 as much this year.... :thumb:

Terry Cox/AZ Chapter/NAFHA

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reptilist
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by reptilist » January 25th, 2012, 4:56 pm

What a great post!

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Y.Morgan » January 25th, 2012, 5:01 pm

Thanks so much to all of you for your awesome feedback!
Norman D wrote:..some of those atrox are screamers
Thanks, NormanD. I often wonder why atrox aren't more popular in the pet trade. There are some stunning ones around here.
Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:I know the feeling well....since I arrived in Kuching last July, people bug me left an right to see this or that important and fascinating national park hundreds of miles and dozens of boat hours from here....but as long as I can find tarsiers in the local park, I can't quite see the necessity
Thanks, Hans. I might give up a few weeks of desert herpnig for a few weeks of your Kuching herping. Your posts from there are awesome!
Aaron Mills wrote:What is this? Molossus x atrox? Maybe molossus x viridis? Weird looking animal for sure!
Thanks, Aaron! I'm sorry to say that I didn't even notice that this molossus was odd when I came across it. I was in a hurry that night and merely moved it off the road after snapping a few quick pics. When I looked at the photos more than a year later, I was surprised. The area (near Las Cruces) has lots of atrox and viridis. Here's another shot:
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rosy-man wrote:the giant Gila how many inches.
Thanks, rosy-man! I didn't measure the big Gila but it was a good bit longer than my size 13 boot.
Will Wells wrote: It was worth the bite to not watch it get smashed.
Thanks for your comments, Will. My friends felt the same way about their bites - a small price to pay for saving the Gila. Imagine watching one getting smashed right in front of you...that'd kill the buzz for sure.
gbin wrote:what's the story behind the young coati in hand?
Thanks, Gerry. We came across a band of coatis (3 moms and oodles of young) in SE AZ and before we could stop them, my friend's eager, curious dogs ran over and tree'd a baby or 2. While we were standing below photoing, one baby plopped down right in front of us and boys being boys...we picked it up for a closer look before letting it go catch up with mom.
Cole Grover wrote:Ouch... same dude get Helodermatized AND bashed by the rolling rock? Hey, it doesn't even look like you got klaubbed this year! Any lasting effects from previous experiences?
Thanks, Cole! Yep, it was the same friend in both shots. He and I are the Dumb and Dumber of the herping world. :lol: Actually, all of these photos are from 2010 when I did manage one klaub bite and plenty of injuries but I posted them previously. I still have numbness and limited mobility in a finger that took a bad bite in the summer of 2009. Luckily, there are no lasting effects from the other bites. No bites in 2011...shock!
Brendan wrote:Looks like you were in my backyard at least once and not far away a few times.
Thanks, Brendan. Yep, I guess I was. Given your expertise for that area, you can probably tell that the "blue" snake is actually from west of the big city, not south.
Brendan wrote:I'm like you in that I forget there are other cool herps which don't have rattles attached.
It's odd how many times my favorite photos are not of the prize snakes...it happens all the time. I gotta make myself take the backpack off more often!
Kent VanSooy wrote:(but my worm snake is bigger!).
:lol: :lol:
Rothdigga wrote:hard go get a good Necrophelia joke in there but you managed that too
Thanks Rothdigga. It takes a special sort of sickness to make that subject funny. :mrgreen:
Dell Despain wrote:How long did it take to pose the Hyla flipping finger?
Thanks, Dell! Too bad about your friends - hopefully, they'll come around. As soon as I told the Hyla about the detracting hypocrites, the middle finger instantly shot up! Photoshop helped a bit too. :)

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azatrox
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by azatrox » January 25th, 2012, 5:28 pm

Looking at that second shot of that weird lookin' buzzworm, I'd have to say viridis x molossus hybrid....Maybe it's just the angle, but that head does NOT look atrox to me....The rear 1/3 of the snake looks VERY molossus to me, and the yellow coloration between the saddles screams molossus too...

Very cool looking animal!

-Kris

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Brian Hubbs » January 25th, 2012, 5:32 pm

Another great post York...but c'mon, you gotta love them pyros... :o

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Aaron Mills » January 25th, 2012, 6:06 pm

Y.Morgan wrote: Thanks, Aaron! I'm sorry to say that I didn't even notice that this molossus was odd when I came across it. I was in a hurry that night and merely moved it off the road after snapping a few quick pics. When I looked at the photos more than a year later, I was surprised. The area (near Las Cruces) has lots of atrox and viridis. Here's another shot:
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Kris, viridis was one that came to my mind, but if I had to guess, I would say it was a molossus x scutulatus from that last picture.

Brendan, you're more of a crote expert than I am, what would you say it is? The underlying pattern looks more scutulatus or viridis to me than it does atrox...

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by monklet » January 25th, 2012, 6:14 pm

This post is just Richter! The variety, superb image quality and composition, the animals, the people and the places (partial to the SW), the story, humor and wierd stuff! ...just off-the-scale! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

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Carl Brune
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Carl Brune » January 25th, 2012, 6:21 pm

Great stuff, thanks for posting.

Aaron Mills
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Aaron Mills » January 25th, 2012, 6:21 pm

The head pattern really reminds me of this scute...

Image

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by chad ks » January 25th, 2012, 6:54 pm

What a ride, thanks for the post…that scute x molossus is a trip. And the pyro that you found with the flawless pattern is of mythic proportions. It must be a cruel prank of fate that someone found it who didn't appreciate it. :lol:

Thanks again!

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by keown » January 25th, 2012, 8:10 pm

An excellent post York. Certainly, the best I have seen in a long while. I'd be hard pressed to try to pick out one image that I liked better than the rest. When you live in the heart of the Southwest, why would anyone want to go elsewhere?

Simply fantastic! :beer:

-Gerald

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by joeysgreen » January 25th, 2012, 9:50 pm

Super sweet post, thanks! My money is on a simple mountain lion. Do jaguars get close to the USA? That would be cool.

There's a tonne of shots that blew me away, but the Mexican border; is it really like that? Doesn't look hard to jump, I thought you guys had a big wall or something nowadays. What do you think about checking out that talus? Is it surveyed closely enough where it's a good chance you'd get caught? Is there signs up saying it's the border or could you plead niave? I should say I'm just curious, and am by no means recommending chancing a run-in with the law.

Ian

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by MichaelCravens » January 25th, 2012, 10:38 pm

Thanks for this! I'm thrilled to be living in Arizona now. I must admit that I sometimes daydream about southern California and, of course, Mexico due to my close proximity, but then I remember all the new species and habitat there is to explore just within an hour drive of my new home. Great post, I enjoyed it very much.

Michael Cravens

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Zach_Lim » January 26th, 2012, 1:35 am

Excellent, excellent, excellent! All of those finds were amazing! Especially that notebook with that account. Very cryptic and kinda creepy! The red eyebrows on that pyro is something else! Beautiful finds.

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Jkinnally » January 26th, 2012, 5:34 am

Wow!! amazing thanks for sharing. I lived in Carlsbad NM for a couple of years miss those evenings.

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Correcamino » January 26th, 2012, 7:49 am

Fantastic post York!!! Lots of beauties in there and some great scenery!

For the record, I think the hybrid crote is atrox X molossus. I have seen three wild caught and many captive bred atrox X molossus. Every one is comepletely different looking, but many have that same facial pattern. The angle of the molossus face stripe combined with the atrox white facial stripes always gives that "scute" look. The blotch shape and coloring at midbody looks all atrox to me. Also on the light scales bordering the blotches, the scales are bi-color, the dark covers most of the scale with the tips being white which is an atrox characteristic. Molossus have unicolored scales, in scutes one ocasionally sees bi-colored scales on the light borders, but I would say more than 90% are solid.
Cheers,

Rich

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Aaron Mills » January 26th, 2012, 8:17 am

Correcamino wrote:For the record, I think the hybrid crote is atrox X molossus. I have seen three wild caught and many captive bred atrox X molossus. Every one is comepletely different looking, but many have that same facial pattern. The angle of the molossus face stripe combined with the atrox white facial stripes always gives that "scute" look. The blotch shape and coloring at midbody looks all atrox to me. Also on the light scales bordering the blotches, the scales are bi-color, the dark covers most of the scale with the tips being white which is an atrox characteristic. Molossus have unicolored scales, in scutes one ocasionally sees bi-colored scales on the light borders, but I would say more than 90% are solid.
Thanks for chiming in Rich! The thing that I saw that persuaded me towards a scute is the head scalation. I have a pair of atrox x molossus, and the head scalation is much different than the one posted here. The other thing that I saw was the overall look of the tail. Granted that isn't a very solid identifier, but the tail on the snake posted is much more scute looking than atrox. Both of my atrox x molossus have coon tails similar to atrox.

Image

Image

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Correcamino
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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Correcamino » January 26th, 2012, 8:38 am

Hey Aaron,

I thought the head and tail were all molossus. The head shape is molossus and it has the typical molossus complex four scale pattern (two prefrontals and two internasals making the four scale shield), it's also not uncommon for molossus to have the two enlarged infrasupraoculars. The only thing that makes me take a second look at the head are the light coloration and the very light eye color. Your snake pictured obviously leans toward the atrox side as far as head scalation.

I just thought the tail looked typical molossus when they retain the rings, it doesn't look scute or atrox to me.

It is easy to see why York didn't think anything of it at the time, while I fully agree with everyone that it is a hybrid, it leans so strongly towards the molossus side that any other influence could be easily missed. I did that one year in Texas with a scute X viridis. We dismissed it as a scute until I was finally looking back at the pics six months later, lol.

Rich

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by Y.Morgan » January 26th, 2012, 8:45 am

Thanks again to all of you for your very kind replies! I really appreciate them.
Paul Lynum wrote:If My friends were finding pyros and all I found was a lep or any crote I would be completely pissed
Thanks, Paul! Personally, I can't imagine getting too pumped about finding a snake that can't even kill you, but at least your pyros are nice-looking. I guess I can't totally blame you. :lol:
Paul Lynum wrote:Also thanks for the insitu shots. When the animal is posed it ruins it IMO.
Thanks again. I know what you mean - I wish it were easier to find klaubs insitu. They're so alert and flighty, we almost always have to pose them for shots. The insitu shots are so much lovelier.
Correcamino wrote:For the record, I think the hybrid crote is atrox X molossus.
Thanks, Rich! I'm not at all qualified to say what the snake was, but the area where it was found is thick with atrox and viridis, whereas I've never seen a scute thereabouts. Plus, I typically find scutes in the lowest, flattest parts of the valleys whereas atrox and viridis go much higher and rockier. Based on these simple anecdotal observations, it seems way more likely to be either atrox or viridis. Definitely, it was part molossus.
MichaelCravens wrote:but then I remember all the new species and habitat there is to explore just within an hour drive of my new home.
Thanks, Michael! I keep meaning to go to CA and Mexico, but like you, there's so much to do here. Enjoy your new home!
joeysgreen wrote:My money is on a simple mountain lion. Do jaguars get close to the USA?
Thanks, Ian! Yes, we get occasional sightings of male jaguars in the U.S. There were verified NM sightings last year and they caught one in SE AZ 2 years ago. Seeing one in the wild in the U.S. would be the ultimate wildlife encounter for me. That said, a mountain lion sighting is WAY more likely - but they don't look like leopards.
joeysgreen wrote:but the Mexican border; is it really like that? Doesn't look hard to jump, I thought you guys had a big wall or something nowadays. What do you think about checking out that talus? Is it surveyed closely enough where it's a good chance you'd get caught? Is there signs up saying it's the border or could you plead niave?
The larger fences (walls) are reserved for high-traffic areas near towns - so far. In remote areas, there are still places where the border is marked by a simple wire fence that you can easily step over. Sure, it's easy to cross into NM, but once here - you're no closer to civilization. Reaching safety could require many days of hiking in tough conditions with Border Patrol all around. No need for a big fence! In general, I'd say you could probably hop and check talus, but BP uses all sorts of sophisticated technology to detect movement and besides, there's plenty of talus north of the fence. :thumb:
chad ks wrote:It must be a cruel prank of fate that someone found it who didn't appreciate it.
Hey, Chad - thanks! That's exactly what I thought - cruel prank! I was so focused on one species that the other awesome snakes that I found seemed like I was being taunted. I found so many freakin' molossus, I quit photographing them too. Not healthy!
Brian Hubbs wrote:Another great post York...but c'mon, you gotta love them pyros...
Well...I guess so. :? Actually, looking back at the pyro pics, I don't know what I was thinking! They're pretty amazing.... for colubrids. :lol:

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Re: Wanderlustlessness in New Mexico & Arizona

Post by brick911 » January 26th, 2012, 5:37 pm

I almost didn't post my end of the year up after seeing this. This is simply stunning from start to finish.

Bob

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